Get Paid to Review Movies — By the People Who Make Movies

Get Paid to Review Movies — By the People Who Make Movies

As John Oliver pointed out in a magnificent segment on Sunday, the once-inviolable wall between the Church and State of journalism and advertising has become as flimsy as an office-cubicle divider. A few weeks ago, Criticwire wrote about a site that solicits payment from reviews from filmmakers themselves, and today, I received (twice!) the following email: 

Hey Sam,

My name is Jake and I’m a marketing associate for Riot Studios’ newest film, Believe Me. The film releases in Theaters and On Demand September 26th and features Nick Offerman (NBC’s Parks and Recreation), Alex Russell (Unbroken), Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore),
and Grammy Award-winning rapper, Lecrae. After coming across
Criticwire, I feel this film is a perfect fit for your readership.

WATCH the trailer featuring music from Jack White: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4z-s3x5x5I

We
want to pay you to write about the upcoming release of BELIEVE ME.
We’ll supply you with a unique link to use in your article and on social
media that directs people to the film’s homepage and pays you $0.10
each time one of your readers clicks it.

How does it work?

Click here: team.believemefilm.com, and enter your email to receive your unique link.
After
you sign up, you’ll get an email with all instructions on how to track
your clicks and eventually cash out your earnings. I have attached the
movie’s Press Release and Suggested Interview Questions to assist you in
your coverage.

For interviews with the cast, please contact: Michael Conrad, Michael@Lovell-Fairchild.com 214-616-0320. Please let me know if you have any questions or if this is something you would be interested in writing about.

Thanks!

Jake Wangler
512.406.1770
wangler@believemefilm.com

Heading to the site takes you to a further pitch, this one from “Belive Me’s” cast (and who can resist a pitch from “Requiem for a Dream’s” Tappy Tibbons?):

On the one hand, I suppose it can’t hurt to ask. But it should go without saying — although I fear it may not — that any writer who takes Jake up on his offer has effectively changed careers from journalism to marketing. In fact, that’s their pitch: Instead of paying some big-ticket marketing firm to hype the movie, we’re paying you — yes, you! — to get people excited about the movie. (Granted, they’re paying in nickels and dimes, but who doesn’t love gum?) Not only does the proposed deal offer writers an incentive to urge readers towards the movie’s site, but it gives them a commission on sales. (Incidentally, I signed up at the site to test-drive the system, but the affiliate link is not used anywhere in this post.)

To be fair, although the email’s aimed at professional writers, the video is aimed directly at fans: It’s not trying to corrupt critics, some of whom like “Believe Me” fairly well, as as much as it is supplementing (or, less charitably, bypassing) them. Of course, indie filmmakers ask supporters to get the word out about their films all the time, but most can’t even afford a few cents a hit. If you watch the trailer for “Believe Me,” which is crisply cut to a Jack White song, it’s clear there’s at least some money behind it: 

So it seems what’s really going on here is the promotional equivalent of what political activists call Astroturf, using money to create the appearance of a grass-roots campaign. Given that “Believe Me” is scheduled to open opposite the likes of “The Equalizer,” “The Boxtrolls,” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” you can’t blame them for trying to stand out in a crowd. But it’s unlikely people clicking on all those Facebook and Tumblr links will know why they were posted in the first place.

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Comments

oliver

this is good people are starting to be niceto us xx cant wait til it

Emmanuel Acquah

I love to start work as soon as possible.

prince

Am actually looking forward to get involved and also to encourage this…will definitely give a thumbs up to get paid for what u write.

zinnal.patel

Hi do let me know how to go about

Joe Johnson

I am interested in writing a review for your Movie and I am excited to see the movie

aditi

I like this idea writting review. And looking forward to start work

Brian W.

How is this really any different than a PR person asking someone to write about something in exchange for perks or a junket in which they fly you out and pamper you for a weekend? Maybe it's new that they're actually offering Pay-Per-Click, but if you're trying to make a trend out of something that surely you know has been going on forever, just in a new form, you're grasping at a few straws.

Sean The Queer Film Critic

If these two responders have their way every film would receive 100% on RottenTomatoes and MetaCritic. I for one won't say nice things about a bad movie to get a few bucks. Online film review readership s down just as viewership at the cinema is down. Those who go were going to go opening weekend anyhow. Thereafter word of mouth from friends will generate additional sales. Social Media was abuzz with posts from many of my friends, from all walks of life, telling their friends to go see Guardians of the Galaxy. As someone who hates most everything, my readers and followers wait for me to send them to see something great like Indigo Mood. Telling people every movie ever is great will lead to a massive reduction in readership (no one wants to read a yes man) and thus a massive reduction in click through sales. Fight the good fight Sam!

Bill (or Dave)

Sammy, I'm not sure I agree with your journalistic integrity, re: it's too rigid. In the film world, "journalism" IS marketing. Even Ebert, the patron saint of contemporary criticism, understood that fact, which is why movies like the Star Wars prequels would get a coveted Ebert-Thumbs-Up. This is a business, man. Make the money. If you want to be an artist, go do interpretive dance in the park for free.

    Infinity

    True criticism have challenges presented by the technology-driven democratization of media platforms, it’s essential that only can be recreated through ones mind and imagination.

Infinity

Its pretty amazing. You can give your own critic and get paid for it. No judgement come afterward. I love music and movies of all kinds this is like a passion for me to write in my own words what this movie means to me. Its great, no joke. ????????

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